Having already benefited from one of their recent additions, the Oakland Athletics would welcome the same initial success from the other.
Chasing his third straight victory, Jason Hammel makes his A's debut while also looking to help his new team to a season-high seventh consecutive victory as their matchup with the Giants shifts across the bay to San Francisco on Wednesday night.Two days after Oakland (57-33) acquired Jeff Samardzija and Hammel from the Chicago Cubs in exchange for three minor leaguers, Samardzija allowed a run and four hits in seven innings of a 4-2 victory over Toronto on Sunday.Hammel, who was 8-5 with a 2.98 ERA in 17 starts for the Cubs, hopes to do his part."As soon as (Samardzija) came out of the game, I told him, 'Nice job, Shark,'" Hammel told MLB's official website. "I want to follow in the same suit."The right-hander has allowed two runs in each of his last three starts, with half of those six runs coming on solo homers.Though Hammel has not pitched at San Francisco since 2011, he is 0-1 with a 2.35 ERA in five starts there. He's given up two runs and worked 13 2/3 innings while not factoring in the decision over his last two at AT&T Park."It's fun to get thrown right in the middle of the fire here with the battle of the bay," Hammel said. "I've got a lot riding here in my first appearance, so I better make it good."Owner of the majors' best record, Oakland concluded a perfect six-game homestand with a 6-1 win over San Francisco (49-41) on Tuesday. The A's, however, have lost three straight on the road -- one shy of matching a season high.They dropped 11 in a row at AT&T Park before winning two of their last three there.Coco Crisp is batting .340 with five RBIs in his last 13 games against the Giants, including .429 (6 for 14) with three RBIs in his last three at San Francisco.He's doubled for two of his three hits in 11 at-bats versus Matt Cain (1-7, 4.27), who has a 2.11 ERA despite going 3-5 in 10 career starts against the A's. He's yielded four earned runs over 38 innings while going 2-1 in his last five versus Oakland, but has not faced the A's since 2012.Though Cain is 0-4 with a 4.65 ERA in seven outings since beating Miami on May 15, he's yielded two runs in 13 1/3 innings while going 0-1 in the last two. Cain, who has received one run of support while on the mound in his last three outings, allowed those runs in 6 1/3 innings of a 2-0 defeat at San Diego on Friday."That's the right step you want to take," the right-hander said of his continued progress.Though San Francisco has dropped 20 of 27 overall and 14 of 17 at home, Hunter Pence is batting .340 in his last 24 contests. He went 5 for 8 with a homer against the A's at home in 2013.Teammate Michael Morse had two hits Tuesday, and is 3 for 8 with a double and a home run versus Hammel.
Jason Hammel is holding opponents to a .178 batting average in at-bats ending with a pitch down in the zone (which ranks ninth in MLB). Pablo Sandoval is hitting .250 in at-bats ending with a pitch down, with only two extra-base hits.